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1 After these things Iesus shewed himselfe againe to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias, and on this wise shewed he himselfe.

2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathaneel of Cana in Galilee, and the sonnes of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

3 Simon Peter saith vnto them, I goe a fishing. They say vnto him, Wee also goe with thee. They went foorth and entred into a ship immediatly, and that night they caught nothing.

4 But when the morning was now come, Iesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knewe not that it was Iesus.

5 Then Iesus saith vnto them, Children, haue ye any meat? They answered him, No.

6 And he said vnto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and yee shall finde. They cast therfore, and now they were not able to draw it, for the multitude of fishes.

7 Therefore that Disciple whome Iesus loued, saith vnto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fishers coate vnto him, (for hee was naked) & did cast himselfe into the sea.

8 And the other disciples came in a litle ship (for they were not farre from land, but as it were two hundred cubites) dragging the net with fishes.

9 Assoone then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coales there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.

10 Iesus saith vnto them, Bring of the fish, which ye haue now caught.

11 Simon Peter went vp, & drewe the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fiftie and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

12 Iesus saith vnto them, Come, and dine. And none of the disciples durst aske him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

13 Iesus then commeth, and taketh bread, and giueth them, and fish likewise.

14 This is nowe the third time that Iesus shewed himselfe to his disciples, after that hee was risen from the dead.

15 So when they had dined, Iesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, sonne of Ionas, louest thou mee more then these? He saith vnto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I loue thee. He saith vnto him, Feed my lambes.

16 He saith to him againe the second time, Simon sonne of Ionas, louest thou me? He saith vnto him, Yea Lord, thou knowest that I loue thee. He saith vnto him, Feed my sheepe.

17 He said vnto him the third time, Simon sonne of Ionas, louest thou mee? Peter was grieued, because hee saide vnto him the third time, Louest thou me? And he said vnto him, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I loue thee. Iesus sayth vnto him, Feed my sheepe.

18 Uerily, verily I say vnto thee, whē thou wast yong, thou girdedst thy selfe, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carie thee whither thou wouldest not.

19 This spake hee, signifying by what death he should glorifie God. And when he had spoken this, he sayth vnto him, Follow me.

20 Then Peter turning about, seeth the Disciple whom Iesus loued, following, which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is hee that betraieth thee?

21 Peter seeing him, saith to Iesus, Lord, and what shall this man doe?

22 Iesus saith vnto him, If I will that he tary till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.

23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that Disciple should not die: yet Iesus sayd not vnto him, He shall not die: but, If I will that he tary till I come, what is that to thee?

24 This is the Disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his testimonie is true.

25 And there are also many other things which Iesus did, the which if they should be written euery one, I suppose that euen the world it selfe could not conteine the bookes that should be written, Amen.

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Commentary for John 21

Christ appears to his disciples. (1-14) His discourse with Peter. (15-19) Christ's declaration concerning John. (20-24) The conclusion. (25)1-14 Christ makes himself known to his people, usually in his ordinances; but sometimes by his Spirit he visits them when employed in their business. It is good for the disciples of Christ to be together in common conversation, and common business. The hour for their entering upon action was not come. They would help to maintain themselves, and not be burdensome to any. Christ's time of making himself known to his people, is when they are most at a loss. He knows the temporal wants of his people, and has promised them not only grace sufficient, but food convenient. Divine Providence extends itself to things most minute, and those are happy who acknowledge God in all their ways. Those who are humble, diligent, and patient, though their labours may be crossed, shall be crowned; they sometimes live to see their affairs take a happy turn, after many struggles. And there is nothing lost by observing Christ's orders; it is casting the net on the right side of the ship. Jesus manifests himself to his people by doing that for them which none else can do, and things which they looked not for. He would take care that those who left all for him, should not want any good thing. And latter favours are to bring to mind former favours, that eaten bread may not be forgotten. He whom Jesus loved was the first that said, It is the Lord. John had cleaved most closely to his Master in his sufferings, and knew him soonest. Peter was the most zealous, and reached Christ the first. How variously God dispenses his gifts, and what difference there may be between some believers and others in the way of their honouring Christ, yet they all may be accepted of him! Others continue in the ship, drag the net, and bring the fish to shore, and such persons ought not to be blamed as worldly; for they, in their places, are as truly serving Christ as the others. The Lord Jesus had provision ready for them. We need not be curious in inquiring whence this came; but we may be comforted at Christ's care for his disciples. Although there were so many, and such great fishes, yet they lost none, nor damaged their net. The net of the gospel has enclosed multitudes, yet it is as strong as ever to bring souls to God.

15-19 Our Lord addressed Peter by his original name, as if he had forfeited that of Peter through his denying him. He now answered, Thou knowest that I love thee; but without professing to love Jesus more than others. We must not be surprised to have our sincerity called into question, when we ourselves have done that which makes it doubtful. Every remembrance of past sins, even pardoned sins, renews the sorrow of a true penitent. Conscious of integrity, Peter solemnly appealed to Christ, as knowing all things, even the secrets of his heart. It is well when our falls and mistakes make us more humble and watchful. The sincerity of our love to God must be brought to the test; and it behoves us to inquire with earnest, preserving prayer to the heart-searching God, to examine and prove us, whether we are able to stand this test. No one can be qualified to feed the sheep and lambs of Christ, who does not love the good Shepherd more than any earthly advantage or object. It is the great concern of every good man, whatever death he dies, to glorify God in it; for what is our chief end but this, to die to the Lord, at the word of the Lord?

20-24 Sufferings, pains, and death, will appear formidable even to the experienced Christian; but in the hope to glorify God, to leave a sinful world, and to be present with his Lord, he becomes ready to obey the Redeemer's call, and to follow Him through death to glory. It is the will of Christ that his disciples should mind their own duty, and not be curious about future events, either as to themselves or others. Many things we are apt to be anxious about, which are nothing to us. Other people's affairs are nothing to us, to intermeddle in; we must quietly work, and mind our own business. Many curious questions are put about the counsels of God, and the state of the unseen world, as to which we may say, What is this to us? And if we attend to the duty of following Christ, we shall find neither heart nor time to meddle with that which does not belong to us. How little are any unwritten traditions to be relied upon! Let the Scripture be its own interpreter, and explain itself; as it is, in a great measure, its own evidence, and proves itself, for it is light. See the easy setting right such mistakes by the word of Christ. Scripture language is the safest channel for Scripture truth; the words which the Holy Ghost teaches, #1Co 2:13|. Those who cannot agree in the same terms of art, and the application of them, may yet agree in the same Scripture terms, and to love one another.

25 Only a small part of the actions of Jesus had been written. But let us bless God for all that is in the Scriptures, and be thankful that there is so much in so small a space. Enough is recorded to direct our faith, and regulate our practice; more would have been unnecessary. Much of what is written is overlooked, much forgotten, and much made the matter of doubtful disputes. We may, however, look forward to the joy we shall receive in heaven, from a more complete knowledge of all Jesus did and said, as well as of the conduct of his providence and grace in his dealings with each of us. May this be our happiness. These are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name, ch. #20:31|.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for John 21

  • Steve morrow
    JOHN 21:15 so when they had dined JESUS saith to simon peter simon son of Jonas lovest thou ME more than these he saith unto HIM yea LORD thou knowest that I love thee HE saith unto him feed MY lambs 21:16 HE saith to him again the second time simon son of Jonas lovest thou ME he saith unto HIM yea LORD thou knowest that I love thee HE saith unto him --- feed MY sheep ---
  • Steve morrow
    JOHN 21:17 HE saith unto him the third time simon son of Jonas lovest thou ME peter was grieved because HE said unto him the third time lovest thou ME and he said unto HIM LORD thou knowest all things thou knowest that I love thee JESUS saith unto him --- feed MY sheep ---
  • Bruce
    Sheep and Lambs are All The Believers, His Elect. Jesus is Telling Simon Peter to Feed His Elect. All Through The Scriptures Believers are Called Sheep or Lambs. Know Ye that The LORD He is God: it is He that hath Made Us and not We Ourselves; We are His People and The Sheep of His Pasture(Psalm100:3)Go Your ways; Behold I Send You Forth as Lambs among Wolves(Luke 10:3) Two Different Languages.
  • Daryl
    John 21:15, 16, 17. v15 Lambs are the Apostles , v16 Sheep are the Jews, v17 Sheep are the Gentiles. v15 see John 20 v21 Christ was sent for our sins, the Apostles are being sent for the establishment of the Church. see Romans 1:16 Jew first then the Gentiles. Every where that Peter went the Holy Spirit was introduced.
  • Steve morrow
    JOHN 14:15 IF YOU LOVE ME KEEP -- MY COMMANDMENTS -- JOHN 21:16 he saith unto him again the second time simon son of Jonas lovest thou ME he saith unto HIM yea LORD thou knowest that I love thee HE saith unto him feed MY sheep MATTHEW 10:37 HE THAT LOVETH FATHER OR MOTHER MORE THAN ME IS NOT WORTHY OF ME AND HE THAT LOVETH SON OR DAUGHTER MORE THAN ME IS NOT WORTHY OF ME
  • William
    Interestingly enough, Jesus leaves us with plenty of information for the believer and pursuers to answer the questions of existence for themselves and equally to inquire among themselves.

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